Breaking out of your Career ‘Herd Mentality’

It was a quiet routine weekend after a hectic overseas business trip when I asked myself this question — “you have reached mid-life so, after this job, what?” This question kept nagging me whole day and I was wondering what had triggered it. I realized it was based on a discussion with a bunch of colleagues at the coffee-machine who were talking hush-hush about shake-ups in the upper floor. It was obvious when things in upper floor shakes, the effects would trickle down to the lower levels too.

….middle age. After this job, what?

Let me put the same question to you, before I tell you my story:

You are a middle-aged expat Corporate executive- so after this job, what? Think about it for a minute.

Thought? Now read on.

Here is my share on how I answered this question.

As an expat working in a foreign country that does not offer citizenship or permanent residency, I came up with few answers to my question:

My Dilemma:

Option one was: Maybe find another equally paying job. Then of course, my inner critic comes up with more questions:

· But this is recession time, how are you going to find it? Markets are on a low

· Who will hire a middle aged executive in a fast-paced, cut-throat business position — there are agile younger ones

Option 2 was Pack up my life in a container and go back to my home country. Again my inner gremlins were supportively sharp reminding me:

· Your income will completely stop, how will you manage your ongoing responsibilities to your extended family

· Are you going back to your roots just like you started — living in scarcity with just your meager savings

I realized I was stumped. I knew no other way of making a living except in a corporate job. I was totally dependent on a corporate for my existence.

The Climb

Right after University more than 2 decades ago, I had started this climb up the corporate ladder. It was a rough ride — sometimes jumping companies and other times trying to crawl up in same. It was taboo to have a gap in CV, my herd mentality had warned me. A sabbatical was not in my books. So I plodded on relentlessly.

Often, I swallowed my pride and clung on justifying to myself that the fancy pay-check was more important. I put on an air of bravado in the face of career adversities. Focused and determined to reach the next leap, everything else was compromised.

I had come from humble beginnings where my parents struggled to make ends meet. As a child, seeing them trying to eke out a living was painful. To play my part, I willingly accepted used clothes and old textbooks from my extended family. I wore ill-fitting hand-me down clothes to special occasions feeling shamed seeing my peers with the well-put together outfits. This did not deter me. In fact, this infused in me ‘do what it takes’ attitude to get out of this lack.

A step at a step I finished my university and marched triumphantly into the corporate rat-race.

I then seized the opportunity to go overseas and made this my second home. I satiated my cravings of branded clothes, luxury cars etc. I brought property back home and felt good about myself. I did not rest on my laurels. It was always the next leap, the better pay, the fancier lifestyle. My parents were happy to see my growth and I ensured that they did not feel lack anymore too.

My wake-up call

It was a fairytale dream story till that weekend.

That weekend woke me up to the harsh reality of where my life can take me — right back to scarcity, if I did not take action. I knew that sick feeling of LACK, that dampening edge of SCARCITY and did not want to go back there in this lifetime.

So how and what can I do now?

Hours, days, weeks, months I rummaged the internet for the ideal next jump. Nothing came. Option one for another job was out of the question as the markets were down.

Option two of going back to my home country with no income stream was daunting as I still had financial responsibilities.

My first step to break away from ’herd mentality’

That is when I stumbled onto this educational program that was teaching people to become financially independent digital entrepreneurs. That was intriguing and it captured my curiosity.

From that day to now, I started investing into developing myself. I discovered a new-me and started reskilling ‘to do all it takes’ to become the CEO of my LIFE while still holding my corporate job. Every free moment was invested in learning the nuances of the online business world.

It opened a completely new amazing, adrenaline-pumping challenge to me. A world where I did not have to trade my time for my money. I remembered working on some jobs for over 12–14 hours per day coming exhausted to my home where my kids had slept already. I compromised health, family and my inner voices in order to sustain and cling on.

I learnt that in this new internet business, I do not have to be tied down to a geographical location. How I wished I had started this earlier so I could have rushed back to my home country at my fancy to be with my ailing parents and not wait for the string of approvals from the corporate hierarchy.

This new journey became my safety net, my PLAN B. I invested every minute to dig deeper into my core-self to bring out my rusted creative self. It was mired in the realm of the corporate façade where I was swathed in the herd mentality — employee mindset of willful blinded silence and dehumanized line of command.

On doing more research I came to understand from an article in Investopedia that “In 2019, the failure rate of startups was around 90%”. That was not very encouraging. I definitely did not want to be in the 90%of the failed entrepreneurs.

So I embarked on to understanding one gnawing problem that I was going to solve in my world. I knew that if I was able to solve this problem for myself then I can solve it for more people.

I identified the first problem and it was how to get out of the herd mentality and start becoming creative. This was huge.

Extricating myself from decades of self-limiting beliefs started step by step with going through Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book ‘Breaking the habits of being yourself’. I listened to the audio version in my every free moment — while driving, during household chores, amidst running errands etc. I realized the value of mindfulness and finding joy in the moment. I remembered to say ‘change’ whenever my old identity and fears of ‘lack’ or ‘scarcity’ plagued my thoughts. I taught myself to be grateful for the moment and more grateful for the vision that I had created for myself as a Digital Entrepreneur.

I visualized my new future. I slowly could see myself transforming into that ideal role — transitioning to become the CEO of my LIFE. The transition is immersive and enlightening. I do not allow my analytical mind to belittle me nor get swayed by my beloved family of naysayers. I was on a single-minded mission.

I am now writing this blog to capture my current stage and wish to carry one single message to all my peers — the type A go-getters in the Corporate industry — IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO GET OUT OF THE HERD-MENTALITY AND BECOME THE CEO OF YOUR LIFE. DO IT WHILE IN YOUR CORPORATE RACE SO YOU HAVE THE FINANCIAL BACKING IN YOUR TRANISITON PHASE. TAKE THAT FIRST STEP.


So the answer to that question — “…you have reached mid-life, so after this job, what?”


“I am transitioning to become an Online Digital Entrepreneur- where I would first become CEO of my LIFE with geographical independence, time-freedom and financial security”



An expat Corporate professional

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